April 22, 2011
I. BUILD UU Philippines
BUILD UU Philippines is dormitory construction program of the UU Church of the Philippines (UUCP) that will provide safe, affordable housing for young university women while simultaneously allowing the national church to become a financially self-sustaining religious movement. Fundraising for BUILD is currently underway; learn how you can make a contribution!
Rev. Rebecca Sienes, President of the UU Church of the Philippines, and Rev. Nihal Attanayake speak about the BUILD program in this informational video: Learn how you can Help BUILD!
On September 17, 2011, one week before her 62nd birthday, Lee Boeke Burke plans to jump into the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay near Alcatraz Island and swim to theHyde Street Pier in San Francisco. In an effort to raise awareness and $25,000 for the BUILD UU Philippines project, Lee will swim the chilly 1.25 miles across the Bay.
II. UUA, UUSC Presidents Appeal for Japan Relief Fund
More than a month after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, roughly 12,000 people are dead, 15,000 are missing, and more than 500,000 are displaced. Japan is also coping with a nuclear crisis that is being compared to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
The heart-wrenching situation changes day by day, but help is on the way. Thanks to very generous donations from Unitarian Universalists (UU) and our congregations across the country, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)-Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) Japan Relief Fund has raised more than $300,000, which will aid in the recovery efforts.
Read Rev. Eric Cherry's blog posts from his recent visit with partners in Japan:
Bringing a message of deep condolence, spiritual support, and solidarity to interfaith partners in Japan Part I and Part II.
Continue reading the presidential appeal and make a contribution to the UUA / UUSC Japan Relief Fund today!
III. Announcing New Director of UU Holdeen India Program
It’s a pleasure to announce that Mr. Derek Mitchell will serve as the new Director of the Unitarian Universalist Holdeen India Program (UUHIP) effective August 1, 2011.
For the last nine years Derek has lived in India, exploring solutions to poverty and violence through research and work in strategic planning and evaluation for non-governmental organizations, labor unions, and human rights advocacy groups in India.
As announced last Fall, Kathy Sreedhar will continue to work for UUHIP in a part-time capacity beginning July 1, 2011 and retire from the UUA on June 30, 2012.
Read more about Derek and join us in welcoming him into his new position!
IV. "Preventing Torture Everywhere" Video
The National Religious Coalition Against Torture (NRCAT) video "Preventing Torture Everywhere" is an important congregational resource.
A Study Guide is available at www.nrcat.org. After viewing it, invite your congregation to sign-on to the NRCAT statement via the website.
V. UUSC/UUA Volunteer Work in Haiti
Seven medical professionals from around the country were on the ground in Haiti with Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) April 11–16, working with UUSC's partners to deliver vital health care to Haitians.
Read reflections from the trip participants and learn more about the UUSC's medical trips to Haiti!
UUSC/UUA JustWorks Trip to Haiti for Seminarians
Central Plateau, Haiti | May 24–31, 2011
This past year, members of the Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP), one of Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s (UUSC’s) partners in Haiti, set aside several hectares of land from the farm they collectively manage for families fleeing the destruction of last year’s earthquake in Port-au-Prince. MPP’s Executive Director Chavannes Jean-Baptiste has a plan for building more than just homes on this fertile plot of land — his vision is to build resiliency for the families left homeless by the tragedy.
The site will be home to MPP’s new eco-village, where these new families will have homes as well as a means of livelihood from cultivating the land. In addition, the vision includes making the eco-village a center for new technology, where farmers can test and adapt energy- and resource-efficient modes of operation.
A collaborative UUSC-UUA JustWorks — a special trip for seminarians to MPP’s eco-village — will kick off the inaugural rebuilding project of UUSC’s Haiti Volunteer Program. During this experience, seminarians will work alongside members of MPP to help construct homes. The trip will also include reflections and discussion on how service work and the shared experience in Haiti connect to the basic tenets of UU faith and ministry.
UUA President Peter Morales and UUSC President and CEO Bill Schulz will be in attendance on this transformative journey — a not-to-be-missed opportunity for deep spiritual work.
Learn more about the UUSC/UUA JustWorks Trip to Haiti for Seminarians!
VI. Charter for Compassion
Dr. Karen Armstrong, the announced speaker for the 2011 Ware Lecture at General Assembly (GA), will talk about her new book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and the companion project, Charter for Compassion.
Armstrong’s book and the project rest on the idea that most religions affirm some version of the Golden Rule. Armstrong posits that one important purpose of religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions is to help make us more compassionate and kind toward others by guiding us to use moral imagination to put ourselves in their shoes.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has joined a number of religious, educational, ethical, and interfaith groups as a partner organization for the Charter for Compassion. The UUA is committed to the ideals of the Charter and its work around the world in the name of compassion and interfaith dialogue.
Armstrong invites GA attendees to read Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life before coming to Charlotte. The book offers thought-provoking information about religious, ethical, spiritual, philosophical, and literary traditions that support Armstrong’s thesis that compassion is a central component of all. More than that, it offers deep questions and a challenge to use your moral imagination in the service of living a more compassionate life.
Continue reading about to get involved with the Charter for Compassion!
VII. UUJME Human Rights Trip to Israel/Palestine
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME) will be hosting a trip to Israel/Palestine July 16 - 27, 2011.
Join the tour for an extraordinary and unforgettable experience!
Provide moral support for those working on the ground for a just peace, then return energized and informed to work more effectively for a just peace from here.
- Meet with Palestinian and Israeli peace activists and political leaders, Israelis from both ends of the political spectrum, and members of Hamas and Fatah
- Visit one or more Jewish settlements
- View the separation wall/ fence and experience checkpoints
- Visit East Jerusalem, including the Old City and Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, Al Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
- Spend two nights in Palestinian homes and tour several West Bank cities as well as Jerusalem,
Tel Aviv, Haifa, Nazareth, and the Galilee area
Learn more about the UUJME Human Rights Trip to Israel/Palestine!
VIII. Sustainability Research Internship in Mexico
June 30-August 1, 2011
Learn how NAFTA has been pushing campesinos off the land and driving them to El Norte. Observe how people are striving to make life sustainable in their communities.
The Center for Global Justice (GJC) presents its fourth annual, Summer Research Internship Program scheduled from June 30th through August 1st, in San Miguel de Allende, in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.
This Research Internship Program is planned as a cross-cultural, cooperative learning experience for activists and college students (upper division undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate) who will study under the guidance of an outstanding international faculty.
Interns will examine and analyze the realities of corporate globalization through selected readings, lectures and on-site, faculty-supervised field investigations culminating in reports intended for publication on the Global Justice Center’s web site. The program is organized to acquaint interns with the social, economic and political realities influenced by US trade and foreign policy supporting corporate globalization over the past half century.
Read more about this internship opportunity!
IX. ICUU Global Chalice Lighting - April 2011
The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 92nd in its monthly series of global chalice lighting readings. Congregations worldwide are invited to participate.
All ICUU-affiliated groups have been asked to submit brief chalice lightings for the project. Every month, a reading will be distributed to Unitarian and Universalist congregations around the world. We ask each congregation to use the reading for at least one worship service in the designated month, identifying it as the “Global Chalice Lighting” for that month and naming the group which submitted it. Readings will be circulated in English and, where different, in their original language.
It is hoped that the ICUU Global Chalice Lighting Project will enhance the worship experience in our congregations and raise awareness of the international dimensions of our religious movement.
This Global Chalice Lighting is distributed by the ICUU in response to the recent Japanese earthquake and its aftermath. In popular Japanese mythology earthquakes are caused by the great fish, Namazu, who lies imprisoned underground beneath a huge stone. This reading is to be used during April 2011.
AFTER THE GREAT WAVE
For Japan, March 2011
Namazu, the Great Fish, stirs
and the earth quakes.
Tsunami, the Great Wave, races
to the shore.
Harbours are engulfed, and towns
and villages and farmlands.
The fragile, perilous works of humankind
are assailed and shaken.
Nature’s power and human folly have
People are filled with fear. They suffer
ruin, devastation, and death.
Human weakness is exposed. We feel
helpless in the face of so much grief,
so much suffering.
And yet we cannot afford ourselves
the luxury of despair.
We are here to say that, in us, the
universe cares for its children.
We are here to reach out in love
to the people of Japan;
to unite our spirits with theirs in an affirmation
of hope beyond apocalypse.
And to do what we can.
And so we kindle our sacred flame.
-Rev. Cliff Reed
- April 28-30, 2011: UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar, New York City
- May 14-26, 2011: UUPCC Pilgrimage to Transylvania
- May 20-22, 2011: Canadian Unitarian Council 50th Anniversary Annual Conference and Meeting, Toronto, Canada
- June 21-26, 2011: UUA General Assembly, Charlotte, VA
- July 16-27, 2011: UUJME Human Rights Trip to Israel/Palestine
- September 28-October 4, 2011: Spiritual Journey in Tierra de Fuego, Argentina
- November 4-6, 2011: European Unitarian Universalist (EUU) Fall Retreat, Oberwesel, Germany